Weather Stories

Hurricane Fiona brings catastrophic flooding to Puerto Rico

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Catastrophic flooding continues in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Fiona.

On Sunday, the hurricane made landfall in southwest Puerto Rico as Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. However, the storm’s slow movement and continuous moisture has brought a steady stream of heavy rain to Puerto Rico. Outter bands circulated off the warm ocean water Sunday bringing rainfall totals on the island from 1-2 feet in some cases. Near Ponce, Puerto Rico, a rain gauge measured over 27 inches of rain in 24 hours lasting until Monday morning.

Early Monday morning, Hurricane Fiona made another landfall in the Dominican Republic before exiting back into the open water midday Monday. River flooding has reached major flood stages on the island of Puerto Rico as a result of the heavy rain. The island remains without power as the rain from the system starts to pull away.

It’s worth noting almost five years ago to the day, Hurricane Maria struck the island at Category 4 strength which left the island without power for months. Some areas have still struggled to rebuild from that event, so Hurricane Fiona has brought back the painful memories of Maria.

Hurricane Fiona will likely strengthen while it is back over the open, warm water. The storm isn’t expected to pose a threat to the U.S. coastline as it curves back out into the Atlantic Ocean.